ORMHOF AND THE BAJA 500: 49 YEARS OF HISTORY
From the ORMHOF Dusty Times Collection: Six-Time Baja 500 Class Champion Walker Evans at the finish line of the 1973 Baja 500. 
ORMHOF ALL TIME MULTIPLE CLASS CHAMPIONS
AT THE BAJA 500

ORMHOF Inductees and Board Members have an impressive record at the Baja 500, earning over 100 multiple class championships to date:

Rod Hall
Board Member/2005 Inductee
18 Wins
Ivan Stewart
2006 Inductee
17 Wins
Larry Roeseler
2012 Inductee
16 WIns
ORMHOF Inductee and five time Baja 500 Class Champion Manny Esquerra making waves at the 1986 event. Laura Simkins Photo.

Larry Ragland
2016 Inductee
7 Wins
Walker Evans
2014 Inductee
6 Wins
Manny Esquerra
2008 Inductee
5 WIns
Rob MacCachren
2011 Inductee
5 Wins
Mark McMillin
ORMHOF Chairman
5 Wins
Malcolm Smith
1978 Inductee
5 WIns
Jerry Penhall
2015 Inductee
4 Wins
"Scoop" Vessels
2007 Inductee
4 Wins
Bud Feldkamp
Board Member/2016 Inductee
3 WIns
Casey Folks
2012 Inductee
3 Wins
Corky McMillin
2006 Inductee
3 Wins
Source: SCORE International
ORMHOF INDUCTEE NICO SAAD SELECTED TO LEAD ENSENADA TOURISM BOARD
Ensenada, 1973: ORMHOF inductee Nico Saad (dark jacket, center), telling Mexico president Jose Lopez Portillo and other dignitaries about Parnelli Jones' famed Bronco, Big Oly. 
Photo provided by Nico Saad

Nico Saad,  owner of the San Nicolas Hotel and Casino has been elected as the new President of the Ensenada Tourism Agency, as proposed by Mayor Marco Novelo, and backed by the Ensenada business community.

Nico has been involved with off-road racing in Baja since the early days, and was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2008. 

Nico shared this story with ORMHOF:

In 1973, to improve relations between the agricultural community and the off road racers, I arranged with Parnelli Jones to send me his Big Oly Bronco during an agricultural
Nico Saad
exposition in Ensenada that was going to be attended by many dignitaries, including the president of Mexico.   Bill Stroppe brought the car down, and I parked it next to a tractor and a combine. They are all off-road vehicles!

When the President got close to the car, he remarked, "What is this ?"  I said, Mr. President its an off-road race car,  owned by the great racer, Parnelli Jones, and now we have new races in Baja.  He quickly said, "I want to get into the car."   So with no door handle, the President climbed into the car like a real race car driver--through the window! His assistant quickly told me, "Get in the car with him," so naturally  I got in on other side, as fast as I could.
 
While we were both inside the car, with his hands on the steering  wheel, he turned to me with a big smile and said,  "What do you need from me young man?"  I responded, sir,  just your blessing for a couple of years more of racing,  to prove that off-road racing will make Ensenada and Mexico famous.  Still in the car, he raised his hand and pointed at the Governor, Mayor, and everyone with influence, and said, "Let's support it." 

And the rest, as they say, is history.
BAJA 500 IMAGES FROM THE DUSTY TIMES ARCHIVES
Just a sampling of the many historical photos waiting to be discovered in the 
Dusty Times archives at the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. 


To view these photos full size, and to see more images, 
visit our Facebook Page, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame 
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PARTING SHOT
This 1959 Triumph raced in the very first Mexican 1000 in 1967.  It broke down near Rancho Santa Ynez, where it remained for many years. ORMHOF Inductee and Dusty Times founder Jean Calvin took this photo while pre-running the 1970 Baja 500.

The restored Triumph at the Tijuana Bull Ring for the 2017 NORRA Mexican 1000.
Sometimes life is kind enough to let us know that we're on the right track, and this is one of those times. One of those Dusty Times, you could say.

The Dusty Times archives are massive. Most of the photos in the 44 file drawers of material are on contact sheets; each sheet an entire roll of film negatives recorded on one 8" x 10" photo, each photo about  1"x 1" square. Using a magnifying glass, I pour over the contact sheets, looking for share-worthy photos. It's a tedious process, that will need to be repeated thousands of times.

A sample contact sheet from the Dusty Times Archives. Every once in a while we get lucky, and find a full size photo.

We have secured climate controlled storage and have started the process of moving the files from the file cabinets to more easily manageable storage boxes. The 44 file drawers will fill 60-some file boxes. 

Although I never met Jean Calvin, she and her Dusty Times archives have become a big part of my life. I feel a great responsibility for having the honor to continue her legacy and share the history of off-road through the archives she and her husband John left in the care of the Hall of Fame.
    File box number one of sixty-something.
From the Dusty Times Archives: ORMHOF Inductee and Dusty Times founder Jean Calvin at the 1969 Baja 500. Jean passed away in 1997.

I knew I wanted to find some historical photos from the Baja 500, but where to begin?
 
Opening box number one of sixty-something, I picked up my magnifying glass, and said, "OK, Jean, what do you want to show me today?" 

After looking at (squinting at, really) several pages of tiny photos, my eyes fell on a picture of a woman sitting in a car. Hmmm...I scanned the page, enlarged the one image, and emailed it to someone I trust and admire very much, ORMHOF Inductee and Trackside Photo founder Jim Ober. Jim confirmed that it is indeed Jean Calvin in the image. Now mind you, I never met Jean Calvin, so why did this picture catch my eye? Apparently she wanted to meet me, and say hello to all of you!

Peering through my magnifying glass once again, I caught a glimpse of a wrecked car under a tree.  The back of the page is labeled, presumably in Jean's handwriting, "1970 Pre-Run Baja 500." After scanning the page and enlarging the image, I see that it is the 1959 Triumph, which I recognize from my photos of the fully restored car that I took just last month in Baja. How about that! Jean and I photographed the same history making car, 47 years apart. Another connection is made.

These are just two of many amazing 1"x 1" photographic needles in Jean Calvin's Dusty Times haystack. There are thousands more photos, and the stories behind them, just waiting to be discovered.  It's going to be a big job, but I'm officially hooked.  Thanks, Jean, for letting me know that I'm on the right track. 

--Barbara Rainey, ORMHOF Administrator



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